Regular readers know that I recently spent two weeks in New Orleans working on contract for Blackwater. One of the things I took with me was my own gunbelt. One of the things I wish I’d had on my gunbelt is the BlackHawk CQC Tactical SERPA Holster. I have reviewed the CQC SERPA holster in the past and was quite impressed with its versatility, strength and performance. BlackHawk has taken that same basic design, strengthened it even more, installed additional protection for the weapon, and mounted on a well-thought out thigh platform.
When I first discussed the Tactical SERPA with BlackHawk representatives – while it was still in the developmental stages in fact – I told them that one of my biggest discomforts with other very popular tactical holsters was the platform itself. I found most of them too stiff, which meant either my leg didn’t fit into them or my leg didn’t fill them. Either causes an issue with enough activity. Another platform I’ve grown comfortable with is very soft and didn’t provide any method for adding a knife or magazine pouch to the platform itself. I was assured that both issues were being addressed in the CQC Tactical SERPA design and indeed, BlackHawk has addressed them well.
Briefly reviewed in the SHOT Show 2005 Review I did last January, the CQC SERPA Tactical Holster has found its way to my heart. I had to procure one not only for my Glock 19 duty weapon, but also for my Springfield Armory 1911 .45ACP, ah, other duty weapon. What I have found from wearing this holster is the following:
1) The “Y” attachment system that uses two leg hangers instead of one indeed makes for less stress on my hip and results in less torque on the holster platform itself when I’m sitting down.
2) The platform is stiff enough to support a secure feeling of the holster on my thigh, but it’s pliable enough to conform to the shape of my thigh.
3) The straps, thinner on top and thicker on the bottom, provide a non-restrictive hold for the platform that can be moved if necessary, but doesn’t move at inopportune times. When might it be necessary? When I climb into a truck to drive with this holster on, I can easily turn the holster / platform over onto the top of my thigh. That way I can get to the handgun without having to lift a hip to make room between the gun and the center console, etc.
4) The universal mounting system rails that can be attached to the platform either in front of, or behind (or both) the holster allow for carrying extra magazines, multitools, pistol lights, etc. right there on the platform. If you’re going into a prisoner processing area and you have to unload into a secure box, just disconnect the holster from the belt hangers; unbuckle the two straps and put the whole thing in: holster, weapon, magazine(s), light, knife, etc. No need to even draw your weapon to make it secure. Isn’t that a safer idea?
5) The double magazine pouch that BlackHawk makes for the CQC line fits several (if not all) of the MOD Folding Knives. Isn’t that convenient.
So, I’ve worn the holster for awhile. I didn’t have it with me in New Orleans but have worn it both before and after that adventure. The holster body itself is beefed up from the “normal” CQC holster. It’s thicker and covers more of the weapon. There are still two retention devices incorporated: tension and the SERPA locking mechanism. The SERPA release is easy to manipulate and is specifically designed to index your trigger finger along your slide when you draw. I like that. My time wearing the holster showed it to be comfortable, secure and easily adjustable if necessary.
The current BlackHawk catalog shows the CQC SERPA Tactical Holster available in black, coyote (desert) tan and OD Green. Prices are listed at $119.95 in the catalog, but an online search found them listed for as low as $95 from various distributors. Add a couple magazine pouches or a light holder and for as little as $120 to $130 you can have a well-equipped tactical platform built. Need one for the other side? BlackHawk CQC makes them available too. In fact, those were specifically designed to accept the universal mounting system rails or MOLLE/STRIKE mountable pouches. That kind of versatility is appreciated when you’re building a mission-specific kit.
For more info, check out BlackHawk online at http://www.blackhawk.com.
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